Semiahmoo Bottle Depot owner Heimin Lee answers customer questions outside the business earlier this year. The depot is part of a Return-It pilot project that will see hybrid-electric compaction trucks replace diesel ones. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Semiahmoo Bottle Depot part of hybrid-electic compaction truck pilot program

Return-It launches program at 16 B.C. bottle depots with aim to reduce emissions

The Semiahmoo Bottle Depot in White Rock is one of 16 locations taking part in a B.C.-wide pilot program that will see Return-It introduce a new CNG hybrid-electric collection compaction system as a “first step towards decarbonizing its transportation fleet.”

According to a news release, the new hybrid trucks “will not only release fewer emissions than existing diesel trucks, but combined with compaction technology it will help reduce the number of vehicle trips required to take beverage containers from recycling depots to processing facilities.”

The hybrid-electric trucks are the first of their kind in Canada, Return-It notes.

“As the province’s leading product stewardship organization, we recognize we can do more to decarbonize our transportation network in order to make an even bigger impact on greenhouse gas emissions,” said Allen Langdon, president and CEO of Return-It.

“We are piloting this new technology as a first step towards transitioning our entire fleet.”

The pilot project also earned a thumbs-up from B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources – and Surrey-Whalley MLA – Bruce Ralston.

“Heavy duty diesel trucks are responsible for nearly a quarter of all transportation emissions in B.C.,” said Ralston.

“Organizations like Return-It who are embracing new technologies in CNG hybrid-electric vehicles for their return-to-base fleets are helping the transition to lower and zero-emissions trucking, and helping us meet our CleanBC goals.”

The Semiahmoo Bottle Depot (28-15515 24 Ave.) accepts items ranging from beverage containers and Styrofoam to residential paint. It was closed for three weeks earlier this year – near the beginning of the pandemic – but re-opened after Easter and became what depot owner/operator Heimin Lee called “a war zone” due to customer impatience, illegal dumping and a general lack of co-operation from customers as the business tried to adjust operating procedures during the pandemic.

In an interview with Peace Arch News in July, he threatened to shut the depot down entirely.



editorial@peacearchnews.com

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